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A reality show launched by the Food Network (who else?) in 2005, The Next Food Network Star pits a number of potential celebrity chefs against each other in a variety of challenges to test their skill at cooking and interacting with people-- both in person and through the camera. In the first two seasons, eight entrants were considered (with one team of two appearing in the first season, for a total of nine participants), but the number of entrants has since been increased to twelve and then to fifteen for the current season. Contestants are eliminated every week until two or three finalists remain, who go on to star in a pilot that is screened during the season finale. The winner's pilot (or something similar to it) goes on to become an actual show on the network, although the staying power of this show and its star has varied greatly from season to season.

The format for judging and selecting a winner has changed over the years, as viewers were given the chance to vote for the winner in earlier seasons, but they are now selected exclusively by the panel of judges. Bob Tuschman and Susie Fogelson, two Food Network executives, have been the core members of the judging panel since the beginning of its use. In the third season, a different guest judge would appear every week to assist them. Since the fourth season, the judging panel has consistently been Tuschman, Fogelson, and Bobby Flay, a chef who stars in Throwdown and Iron Chef America, among other shows. Giada De Laurentiis was added to the panel for the current season.

The challenges in the show serve to both test and develop abilities that will be most useful for the contestant who will ultimately appear on their own show. A "Camera Challenge" is included every week, and requires each contestant to describe their food on-camera in an engaging way, within a set period of time. Usually, the particpants have also prepared the food they are presenting, so their dish is also judged as part of this challenge. This segment is the lead-in to the "Star Challenge" which is a more intense challenge that requires the contestants to work under pressure. Examples of these challenges include creating a dish with a specific theme for VIPs, preparing multiple dishes in a limited time (sometimes for the purpose of catering an event with hundreds of guests) or participating in some other test of skill inspired by another Food Network show.

Several well-established stars of other Food Network shows have appeared on The Next Food Network Star, not only to serve as guest judges (as previously mentioned), but also to present the star challenges. This includes Rachael Ray; one of her appearances was during season four, where she told the contestants that their next challenge would be a live demonstration on her show. Also, in the season five finale, Alton Brown (of Good Eats fame) actually directed and helped produce the pilots for both of the finalists.

The show was renamed simply "Food Network Star" for season 7.

The winners of The Next Food Network Star from each season are:

  • Season One - Dan Smith & Steve McDonagh. A gay couple and the only two-person team to appear on the show so far, the two appeared in a show originally called Party Line with Dan and Steve, which was later changed to Party Line with the Hearty Boys. The show focused on food meant to be served while entertaining guests, with 32 episodes were produced in total. In 2006, Food Network decided not to renew the series and Smith & McDonagh have yet to star in another show on the network.
  • Season Two - Guy Fieri. To date, Fieri has been the most successful TV personality to have come out of The Next Food Network Star. In addition to his first show, Guy's Big Bite, which was produced after he won the competition, he has also starred in Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, Guy Off the Hook, Minute To Win It (on NBC) and he co-hosted Ultimate Recipe Showdown with Marc Summers. He also makes frequent guest appearances on other Food Network shows, including later seasons of Next Food Network Star.
  • Season Three - Amy Finley. Although she was originally eliminated in the week before the season finale, it was discovered in the days before the final episode that one of the two finalists, Joshua Adam "JAG" Garcia, had lied about his culinary training and military service. Finley was allowed to advance to the final in his place; however her show, The Gourmet Next Door, was short-lived. Only six episodes were produced and Finley herself declined to continue with the show.
  • Season Four - Aaron McCargo, Jr. The fourth season finale was unique because the judges did not eliminate any of the three contestants on the week before the finale. McCargo, Jr. beat Adam Gertler and Lisa Garza and went on to star in Big Daddy's House. In another unique development, runner-up Gertler has been tapped to star in two shows to date: Will Work for Food and Kid in a Candy Store, and it could be argued that Gertler has actually been more successful on the network than McCargo, Jr. Another notable runner-up is Kelsey Nixon, who got her own cooking show on Cooking Channel called Kelsey's Essentials. Considering that three contestants have gone on to have shows and that a fourth (Lisa Garza) now has her own line of clothing, one could argue that this may have been the most successful season in terms of finding a number of viable talents.
  • Season Five - Melissa d'Arabian. Unlike other winners who received most of their culinary training from formal institutions or the restaurant business, d'Arabian's primary experience came from being a stay-at-home mom. Her show, Ten Dollar Dinners, was created with this background in mind and is aimed at families shopping for meals on a budget. However, many viewers felt that the runner up, Jeffrey Saad, was robbed because many people felt that his pilot was more interesting that Melissa's (although he did get a webseries based on his pilot). He later starred on his own show on Cooking Channel and made it to the dessert round in the finals of Chopped All-Stars.
  • Season Six - Aarti Sequeira. The final episode of season six featured three finalists instead of two, but unlike season four, this was due to a change in format and not the result of the judges being unable to select someone to eliminate the previous week. Aarti was selected over fellow finalists Herb Mesa and Tom Pizzica to star in a show titled Aarti Party, which focuses on her specialty of making Indian cuisine more accessible to home chefs in the United States. Pizzica would later have his own show on Food Network, Outrageous Food.
  • Season Seven - Jeff Mauro. His show, Sandwich King, will "make a sandwich for every meal, and make every meal into a sandwich".

The Next Food Network Star provides examples of: Edit

  • Adorkable: Season 8: Emily and Justin from Team Alton
    • Season 6: Herb, Brad, and of course Season 6's winner, Aarti; Season 7: Susie and Jeff
  • Aloha Hawaii: Season 8 contestant Ippy.
  • Alpha Bitch: Penny from Season 7 got an instant reputation as the mansion's resident Alpha Bitch from her very first episode, in which she immediately started bullying Alicia in a blatantly vicious and mean-spirited way, constantly belittling her, making fun of her looks, and in general making life on the show hell for her. When Alicia's cupcakes are thrown out, Penny actually is so smug about it that she actually starts digging through the garbage can to count how many got thrown out and starts grinning and laughing about it. Later on, she moves on to other targets like Mary Beth and Jyll. She basically spends half the competition bullying other contestants, and the other half gushing about how hot she thinks she is. One year later, she returns for the Chopped All-Stars competition; during the round featuring her and other S7 NFNS contestants (Justin B, Chris, and Vic Vegas) and she immediately starts bragging about herself again, and tells Vic straight up that she specifically wants to take him down purely because he'd made it to the finale (she does). In the next round, she has the audacity to claim that Michael Symon and Marcus Samuelsson are intimidated by her. In any case, the fact that she's been reappearing on the channel means that she's well on her way to becoming the Food Network's resident Disney villain.
    • In Season 6, Brianna was also an Alpha Bitch (though nowhere near as notorious as Penny), and her favorite target was Serena. In one memorable incident at the mansion at night, Serena goes into the kitchen for a late-night snack and finds Brianna and Paul (who was also a major Jerkass and Man Child) already there cooking something. Brianna and Paul apparently don't want Serena in their presence and chase her out of the kitchen. Before leaving, Serena turns back and tells Brianna what all the fans had been dying to say to her: "This is not a way of treating people." Brianna simply bellows "OUT!" and chases her away.
  • Amazon Brigade: In Season 7 all the women (save Penny) were on one team for the pastry challenge, and they had a blast while working together. Unfortunately their food wasn't as good as the other team's and they lost that challenge.
  • Apologizes a Lot: Chris of Season 7, who stated multiple times that he wasn't used to making desserts. This was part of the reason he was eliminated.
    • The judges never are impressed (and probably rightly so) when the contestants overapologize for their food. Even if the food is crap, they'd rather see the contestants try to defend it then overapologize for it.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: A humorous example: In Season 6, Brad is presenting a dinner to the judges and guest-judge Eva Longoria. However, he's coming across as extremely stiff, awkward, and rehearsed. The judges prompt Eva to ask Brad a question. Stumped about what to ask about his food, Ms. Longoria instead asks "So...when did you lose your virginity?" Prompting surprise and laughter from everyone, including a stunned Brad himself. It actually ends up helping Brad to loosen up and act more naturally.
    • On a more serious note, Bobby Flay is VERY prone to asking Armor Piercing Questions of the contestants to help see whether they deserve to stay or not. In Season 7, immature Man Child Chris is attempting to argue with Bobby over his criticism, and Bobby shuts him up by simply asking "Do you really want me to bring up that lobster roll from last week?" Chris immediately falls silent.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Winner gets a cooking show that usually airs in an early timeslot, and the show has only five or six episodes to prove it can get enough viewers to justify buying more episodes. Several of the show's winners don't even have shows on the network anymore.
  • Bow Ties Are Cool: Said word for word by Alton Brown when introducing Judson in Season 8. Brown has previously admitted to being a Whovian.
  • Break the Cutie: Poor Alicia. The first few episodes of Season 7 seemed to be one long Break the Cutie moment for contestant Alicia, who was not only criticized by the judges, but also seemed extremely self-conscious about her accent. It certainly didn't help that Penny took an immediate dislike to her from the moment they met and did everything she could to make Alicia's life on the show a living hell. And then Alicia got booted off the show. Meanwhile Penny remained for several weeks longer and moved on to new targets (namely Mary Beth, and Jyll to a lesser extent; luckily, Mary Beth was apparently much more ready to defend herself from Penny, and Jyll also had a Crowning Moment of Awesome where she finally called out Penny for her bullying behavior in front of the judges, And the Fandom Rejoiced).
  • The Bully: Season 7: Penny. Your Mileage May NOT Vary.
    • Season 6: Bitchy Brianna was rather cruel to Serena, though after being forced to work together on a food truck challenge, they ended up on better terms. Paul was also quite mean to Serena, making fun of her Italian accent and just generally demeaning her in every way possible (poor Serena was almost like a prototype for Season 7's Alicia in terms of how bullied and woobified she was that season!)
  • But Not Too Foreign: Season 6 winner Aarti Sequeira's show seems to have fallen victim to this trope. She made her way through the competition hoping to teach viewers how to easily prepare Indian food at home. So once she got her show one would expect to see Indian food right? Wrong. Apparently the Food Network execs changed her show to focus on things like "Bombay Sloppy Joes," and other such dishes which were basically American/Western dishes with a bit of cumin sprinkled on top. This stands in stark contrast to the way they forced Herb and Season 7's Susie to act more foreign. [1]
  • But Now I Must Go: In Season 6 when Giada was serving as a mentor (before she was a judge or a team captain), she stayed with the contestants and guided them until the last leg of the season where the show moved from LA to New York for the last few episodes, at which point Giada parted ways with them and wished them good luck.
  • The Cameo: Mary Beth and Penny meet Sabrina Soto, a regular on sister network HGTV, when shopping for table settings for a challenge. Doubles as Product Placement in this particular instance, since literally the entire point was for Soto to show off some products from a sponsor.
  • Cat Fight: Mary Beth and Penny got into a verbal one of these practically every time they were in the same room. Worse, they repeatedly wound up having to work together on challenges, with predictable results.
    • Justin D. lampshaded it, telling the camera crew "Everytime those two get paired together, they end up in a Cat Fight. And not even a sexy one that I'd want to watch!"
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Penny of Season 7 quickly developed this reputation among the other cast members, and they didn't seem too choked up when she got eliminated due to how openly mean she was. During the second or third week, when Alicia's cupcakes were unpopular with the dinner guests and got thrown in the garbage, Penny actually seemed delighted by Alicia's misfortune, to the point where she excitedly began rifling through the garbage can (with her bare hands) to count how many of Alicia's cupcakes got thrown out, all while having a huge grin plastered on her face. The reason for her elimination was essentially that she wasn't likable enough for a television show, and this even continued after her elimination, when she served as Mary Beth's sous chef for the Iron Chef challenge. She was going so slowly that it's almost certain she was deliberately trying to sabotage Mary Beth. Jesus.
  • Clip Show: Right before the Season 7 finale, they aired a Reunion Special, the first ever.
  • Cooking Duel: For one, everyone is competing with each other for a job and their food is one of their primary weapons. Some of the star challenges in the last couple of weeks of a given season have involved a more direct competition, though.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Dzintra of Season 6 came across this way. One memorable Big Lipped Alligator Moment featured Dzintra telling the Confession Cam--referring to herself in the third person--that "Dzintra loves to dance! Dzintra loves to twirl!"
  • Confession Cam: Featured in every season, but was the source of a LOT of amusement in Season 7 in particular...
  • Cooking Show: Obviously
  • Cordon Bleugh Chef: Since taking risks and using food in unique ways is something that will get contestants noticed in a positive way, misfires are inevitable. Most recently, the final four from season six participated in an Iron Chef challenge. One of them tried to embrace the creative nature of the show a little too closely when the secret ingredient was revealed to be bacon-- he attempted to make a bacon steak. That's right, an entire steak made out of nothing but bacon. Bob Tuschman said it was quite possibly the worst dish in the history of the show.
    • One of the challenges featured breakfast cereal, and one person got stuck with Fruity Pebbles.
    • Bobby Flay had this reaction to one of Vic of season 7's dishes, a lasagna in a burrito that he called "La Changa", and flat out refused to eat it. Turns out it would have gone over better if Vic had remembered to mention that it was supposed to be made with leftover lasagna.
  • Dualvertisement: Some of the ads will not only advertise the show, but shows and products related to Food Network's sister station HGTV.
  • The Fabulous Fifties: Adored and invoked by Season 8 contestant Emily, whose perspective is "retro rad".
  • The Fashionista: Lisa Garza of Season 4 was very much the embodiment of this trope. Today she actually has her own line of clothing.
  • Fiery Redhead: Bobby Flay can be quite prickly as a judge, although most people agree that it's just because he has high standards and cares about seeing the contestants create a quality product.
  • Fire-Breathing Diner: One of the camera challenges from season four required the contestants to swap dishes with each other and present them on-camera with no prior knowledge of the ingredients. This resulted in one participant taking a big bite out of the mystery dish on-camera... and coming to the painful realization a few seconds later that it contained habanero peppers.
  • Flanderization: The participants are encouraged to come up with a theme or angle for their cooking which can then be used as the basis for their show. The extent to which someone is inflating the importance of a particular aspect of their cooking varies from contestant to contestant. However, the ones who struggle to find a direction are usually the ones that latch on to a small part of their overall skills and try to make it their angle in hopes of avoiding elimination. The earlier seasons were more focused on developing the contestants television presence and acted more as a pilot. Newer seasons put almost no emphasis on the television aspect of having a cooking show, and instead focus more on food challenges. The focus on a "theme" often results in this theme seeming to dominate the contestant's entire personality.
  • Genki Girl: Orchid of Season 7. Also Susie from the same season, leading Jeff to do an Affectionate Parody of Susie's tendency towards this (as well as of the ethnic Flanderization that she was being forced into by the judges). Susie herself thought it was hysterical.
    • Emily from Season 8 has elements of this as well.
  • Gentle Giant: Vic from Season 7. He's extremely muscular, has a shaved head, and arms covered with tattoos. His proposed show title? Mamma's Boy.
  • Girl-On-Girl Is Hot: Implicitly invoked by Season 8's Nikki, who has named her prospective show "Girl On Grill" (with a seductive grin every time she mentions the name). She repeatedly asks the audience if they're "ready for some Girl on Grill action." Bobby Flay found it amusing, but Bob Tuschman is currently hand-wringing that it might be too "provocative."
  • Ha Ha Ha No: When Mary Beth in Season 7 makes a metaphor that sounds like she bathes in lobster bisque, Alton Brown pulls one of these.
  • High School AU: In Season 8, the utterly Adorkable Emily from Team Alton actually starts imagining this trope on camera. Emily proposes that if this show were a High School AU, "Team Bobby would be the jocks, Team Giada would be the cheerleaders, and we on Team Alton would be the nerds and the geeks." If one applies the trope to previous seasons, Season 6 could have featured Herb as the Lovable Jock and Serena as the Foreign Exchange Student, and Season 7 would have definitely featured Penny as the Alpha Bitch. Bobby Flay and Alton Brown would be the SternTeachers and Giada the Cool Teacher of course.
  • I'm Not Here to Make Friends: Penny Davidi. She actually quotes this trope title repeatedly. Its probably more than just usual realty show stuff as apparently she alienated everyone female, which is quite a trick with a large group. Unsurprisingly, she gets eliminated.
  • Jerkass: Season 7 features Penny Davidi (as you can tell by reading this page). She seemed to go out of her way to be cruel to the other contestants (particularly female contestants), gushes about how sexy she thinks she is, and creates drama with the other contestants, to the point where they utterly despise her for her shenanigans. Honestly, Penny's jealous and bullying ways towards Alicia and Mary Beth made her come across less like a celebrity chef and more like a freaking Disney villain.
  • Jerkass Facade/Jerk with a Heart of Gold: While Bobby Flay can come across as rather brusque and short with the contestants, for the most part it's because he has very high standards and pushes people to be their best. Most former contestants have gushed about how easy-going and nice he actually is, with one of Season 7's contestants actually saying that Bobby Flay is now "one of my favorite people." He's a Stern Teacher, but--just like with most SternTeachers--it's because he genuinely cares about pushing people towards doing quality work.
  • Lovable Jock: Herb from Season 6 is a personal trainer and very muscular. He's also extremely nice, cries often because of how much he misses his wife and daughters, and in general seemed to be a fun-loving source of encouragement for the other contestants. His Adorkable personality--as well as his cooking talent--helps get him to the finale.
  • Man Child: Chris of Season 7 very much came off as this, with Guy Fieri even lampshading that Chris seemed like he could be on Jersey Shore. Even moreso during the Clip Show reunion special, where the previously unaired footage revealed him to be even more of an immature and self-centered guy than he'd already appeared to be. Since then, Chris has unsurprisingly resurfaced on a VH-1 reality show.
    • Paul from Season 6 was a major Jerkass and extremely immature.
  • Martial Arts Headband: After he wound up sweating into the food, Jeff of Season 7 started wearing one of these, and joked that when he puts it on it's his Let's Get Dangerous move.
  • Mrs. Robinson: Penny of Season 7 seemed to going for this image, putting an emphasis on being "sexy" and frequently leaving the top of her chef's jacket unbuttoned to show cleavage. She even said that her favorite show was Cougar Town and said that it was because "I am a cougar." Oh, and her original show title: "Stilettos in the Kitchen." When doing the promo challenge in the first episode, she kept mentioning "bringing sexy back into the kitchen" and declaring "I can't turn the sex off!" Alton Brown, who was directing the contestants' promos, was practically rolling his eyes before long and even told her that she should try to tone it down, saying "You can be sexy without being so...overtly so." Bobby Flay, being Bobby Flay, later put it much more bluntly and told her she was "coming across as kind of trashy."
  • Oven Logic: Due to frequent time constraints, contestants have been known to try taking shortcuts to get their dish completed on time. In the second episode of season six, a contestant decided that frying his food in a commercial deep fryer would be a good way to save time. Unfortunately, he had never used one before and the end result contained raw dough... which was then served to Wolfgang Puck.
    • Season 7 had a brisket done in 2 hours. And it tasted like a brisket done in 2 hours...
  • Nice Guy: Jeff of Season 7. It's one of the major reasons he wound up winning.
  • Parenthetical Swearing: After Penny and Mary Beth wound up having to work together again they would say things to each other like "I really love you" but their tone made it quite obvious that they were thinking something else.
  • Product Placement: Some mini challenges require cooking certain brand foods as ingredients, such as Hershey's products for dinner, Kellogg's products for appetizers, and Post cereals for dinner. It's become more apparent in later seasons, though its use is Justified considering promoting a food product is part of being a TV chef.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Vic of Season 7, a self described Momma's Boy who's built like a brick wall, but actually pretty gentle.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Jyll gave a particularly memorable one to Penny in Season 7. See Crowning Moment of Awesome on the YMMV tab for more.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Chris and Justin B. of Season 7, with Chris being a Man Child and Justin being a consummate professional. Needless to say, having them on the same team was all sorts of interesting.
  • Retool: It's been announced that Season 8 will follow a new format. Apparently, the Food Network execs caught on to the fact that Season 6 was disliked and that Season 7 was reviled. (At best Season 7 was a Guilty Pleasure show, and at worst it was a Soap Opera-ish clusterfuck of a disaster that one couldn't help but stare at in awe/horror). The Retool apparently is based off the format of The Voice, and involves Bobby, Giada, and Alton coaching teams of contestants, taking them under their wings to learn, as well as the return of viewers' ability to vote for the contestants they like, which is probably a smart strategy, since combining fan votes with coaching from the experienced hosts increases the odds of creating a new star with actual staying power.
  • The Runner Up Takes It All: Adam Gertler in Season 4. He came in second but was likeable enough that the network gave him his own travelogue show (Will Work for Food), which proved popular enough that he got a second show (Kid in a Candy Store). Probably justified, since Adam is quite arguably more popular than the actual winner from that season, Aaron Mc Cargo.
  • Self-Deprecation: During the Comedian's Roast (where they not only cooked a roast, but were themselves roasted) Jeff, who actually used to do stand-up comedy, indulged in quite a bit of these. He also described himself as looking a bit like a sandwich.
  • Self-Parody: Many people, particularly some people on Food Network Humor, have begun serious speculation that as of Season 7 (and possibly as early as Season 6), the show has become a deliberate Self-Parody. There seem to be just too many intentionally corny moments, blatantly obvious Flanderization and Product Placement, and moments edited to look humorous.
    • Season 8 seems to be an attempt to get serious again about finding a viable star, with a much-needed Retool being implemented to create more reasonable challenges and a process that seems more likely to support the higher-quality contestants.
  • Show Within a Show: By the time the season finale airs, the show contains at least two other shows featuring the finalists. Also at the beginning, the contestants have to do promos for their prospective shows.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Penny ended up on a team of all guys after the women deliberately kept her off their team during the pasty challenge. Penny being Penny, she ended up exploiting this since the guys were all too happy to help her.
  • Special Guest: Every week, the contestants meet up with one of the established Food Network personalities, who usually presents them with that weeks' challenge, and subsequently helps the judges analyze the contestants' dishes and presentations.
  • Spicy Latina: In Season 7, Susie didn't start out this way, but was pushed towards a version of it by the judges (in the sense that they weren't pushing for her to change her personality per se, since they enjoyed her usual personality, but they wanted her cooking to be restricted to being entirely Latin-based, which rubbed a lot of viewers the wrong way since it felt like they were limiting her due to stereotypical expectations). To conform to this, Susie did start to play up her ethnicity more. This was lampshaded by Jeff, who--as shown in previously unseen footage during the Reunion Clip Show--did an Affectionate Parody of the way Susie was portraying herself, complete with Spanish singing (the other contestants, including Susie herself, loved it; Susie, bursting with laughter, gave Jeff a thumbs up).
    • As of Season 8, Martita presents this image, as her theme is based around her Mexican heritage and she's known for her energy.
  • Spin-Off: In a way, each winner's show is a spin off of Next Food Network Star.
  • Stern Teacher: Bobby Flay and Alton Brown share this role.
  • Team Mom: Giada was brought on board in Season 6 essentially to play this exact role, by being a mentor to the contestants throughout the competition. In Season 7 she became a judge, and had to distance herself from the contestants but she still showed shades of being a Team Mom. Now, as of Season 8, she's gone back to being a Team Mom in an official capacity by being the head of her own team, as part of the new format after the Retool.
  • Team Switzerland: Vic Vegas served this role in Season 7 in the midst of the various conflicts going on that season. He was the one person other than Jeff that everyone apparently trusted enough to confide in, and at the same time, he tried to steer everyone away from conflict. Epitomized at one point where we see Jyll confiding in him about a fight she was having with Chris, and Vic simply groans "This is a mess!" rather than stating whose side he was on. He then told the Confession Cam that in his view it would be best for everyone to just calm down, get some rest, and them come with a fresh perspective in the morning. It really ended up adding a lot to Vic's likeability.
  • Totally Radical: Season 2 winner Guy Fieri embodies this to a tee.
    • Season 8's Josh was also this, constantly alluding to his past leadership of a rock band and emphasizing how "rock & roll" he was, it just came across as trying too hard.
  • True Companions: The three remaining finalists of season 7 described each other this way, even knowing one wouldn't be able to make a pilot.
  • Valley Girl: Alicia in Season 7 talks this way. Because she can only tone it down by not speaking as loudly, she had to struggle between sounding pleasant and being heard.
  • You Look Familiar: Some contestants on NFNS are chefs who have previously competed on different Food Network competition shows like Chopped. Conversely, some of them start to appear on these shows after having made a name for themselves on NFNS.

Notes

  1. The likely reason is they assumed that most viewers at home are familiar enough with Latin cuisine to be comfortable with it, which is why they pressured Susie and Herb to become one-dimensional Hispanic stereotypes. Unfortunately for poor Aarti, the execs likely assumed that housewives at home would be more unfamiliar with Indian cuisine and therefore too intimidated by it, which is why they pressured Aarti into cooking American food with Indian spices instead of cooking authentic Indian food. Which basically means that the execs are Completely Missing the Point of cooking shows: teaching people how to cook recipes they are unfamiliar with.